The Western Load Research Association
Spring 2000 The Spring Conference was held in Calgary, Alberta, in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Rob Anderson from ENMAX Corporation hosted the meeting.
A pre-conference workshop was held which focused on Load Profiling. The workshop was sponsored by EPRI Solutions - CEED and was lead by Miriam L. Goldberg, XENERGY Consulting Inc. The workshop concluded with a "Dutch Treat" Dinner.
A vendor hour closed the first evening. This allowed attendees to "test-drive" hardware and software and gave them the opportunity to talk with vendors about their products and services.
Day 2 started with Updating Load Research Data When There are No Meters by Mimi Goldberg, XENERGY Inc. Tom Noll from Idaho Power followed this presentation with Using Hourly Forecasts to Shape Traditional Forecasts. End-Use Load Research in Thailand - Final Results was next, presented by Mike Keith, Utility Data Resources. Max Vaezinia of PG&E followed with Bill to Load Comparisons - Taming the QA process. The morning was finished by David VanHolde, Seattle City Light and Jeff Romberger, SBW Consulting with their presentation of Energy Efficiency Diagnosis From 15-minute Billing Meter Profiles.
The afternoon of day 2 started with utility status reports. Before boarding the bus for dinner in Banff, the participants decided they would have a snowball fight. Dinner was a buffet at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Load Profiling Applications for Fun and Profit - Retail Perspective by Joe Lopes, Applied Energy Group and Janice Worsick, Enmax started day 3. This was followed by an Informal Discussion on Load Research and Latest Industry Concerns. This final day was closed with the WLRA Business Meeting. At the business meeting, TXU sponsorship was confirmed for the spring meeting in Fort Worth. Members selected Modesto, California for the fall 2001 meeting. Members decided to continue the optional workshop prior to conference for one more meeting (Laguna Beach) and then review the concept again. Rob Anderson accepted to be one of the two co-chairs for the next two years.
Fall 2000. The Fall 2000 conference was held on October 24-27th in Laguna Beach, California, hosted by Southern California Edison, at the Hotel Laguna. Mark Martinez and Cyrus Sorooshian of SCE were the utility co-hosts, at a conference location literally inches from the water (the hotel has a conference room located on their private beach). The weather proved to be very pleasant, a much different change of pace from the summer of high prices and outrageous deregulated market activity that had just occurred in California a few months earlier.
A special load data workshop entitled Validation, Editing, and Expansion in a Deregulated Market was conducted by Joe Lopes of Applied Energy Group, and hosted by SCE at the hotel. Attendees and early arrivals met for networking and dinner that evening, and sightseeing in Old Town Laguna.
On Wednesday, the conference began with a California "theme", with presentations from Akbar Jazayeri, SCE Director of Pricing and Tariffs on the topic of Using load research to unbundled rate design, Jeff Trace of SDG&E talked about the impact of trully unbundled rates in San Diego, and what effect skyrocketing prices have had on customer behavior and utility image. For the customer perspective, David Wylie of ASW Engineering gave a luncheon talk about how customers are reacting to both rising prices and new load reduction programs, with innovative and low-cost approaches to load analysis and data collection of customer-specific load profiles.
The afternoon began with the now legendary presentation that has garnered near-national recognition (you heard it here first!) from Gary Stern, Director of Market Monitoring and Analysis of SCE, on "California Electricity Market Does Not Produce Just and Reasonable Prices". This argument was later to provide the lynch-pin for Governor Davis' argument to FERC for a wholesale price cap and SCE's request for rate increases.
The pull of the Pacific Ocean that afternoon turned out to be too much for the group, as high tide started pounding the beach and the cool breezes drifted through the open conference room windows. A bus that afternoon collected the conference attendees and delivered them up the coast to Newport Beach, where Hornblower Cruises took everyone on an evening dinner cruise around the harbor, to discuss the events of the day, and reflect on the great sunset, multi-million dollar boats and homes, and the latest issues regarding cost of service tariffs and wholesale market forces.
Rested, refreshed, and ready for more regression analysis, the conference continued Thursday. Day Two began with Profiling in Texas by Stuart McMenamin (RER). He described the ERCOT Market's centralized profiling and settlement process pilot that begins June 2001. He explained how and why ERCOT split its markets into weather zones for the purpose of profiling and settlement. Next, Roger Wright (RLW Analytics) demonstrated his recent discoveries in SAS Version 8.0 that highlight some of the SAS Advantages for Load Research. Cyrus Sorooshian (SCE) described the Voluntary Power Reduction Credit (VPRC) Pilot Program, Summer 2000 and relayed the results of its first summer in action. Craig Williamson (Primen) explained why EPRI and GRI formed Primen and described what sort of information Primen has available with regards to load research.
Lunch was held in the outdoor garden area, with a Pacific themed BBQ. Attendees, lured by the ocean air and calming waves, met informally and congregated on the beach to compare notes. Afterwards, Ancillary Benefits of a Dynamic Load Profiling System by Raymond Wong (PG&E) described how PG&E used their dynamic load profiling system to quickly quantify the results of a non-firm customer curtailment program. Innovative Information Applications by Marve Serhan (Motorola Utility Solutions) described Motorola's new data collection and control system called Spatia. The utility representatives in attendance then gave status reports of their load research activities. Afterwards, the vendors at the meeting hosted a social hour with tabletop demonstrations of their products and services .
The WLRA Business Meeting was held on Day Three. Mark Martinez (SCE) was elected to replace Ilene Obstfeld (EPRI) who stepped down from her Co-Chairman position. The Spring 2001 meeting will be hosted by Texas-New Mexico Power in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Fall 2001 meeting will be hosted by the Modesto Irrigation District in Modesto, California. A discussion was held on potential topics for the Ft. Worth meeting, a review of the past activities of the WLRA, follow-up to-do items for members of the Executive Planning Committee, and a commitment of all parties to continue to provide support and engage fellow load researchers in fellowship and information exchange.